19 July 2023


On May 30, at the Bologna Business School headquarters in Villa Guastavillani, Delicius, a family-owned but multinational company dealing in fish preserves, met with students of the BBS Business Management Professional Master, track Asian Markets, for the II Company Project Work Kick Off, a curricular activity conceived and carried out by Professors Angelo Manaresi, Scientific Director of the Master’s program, and Barbara Lorenzini, Marketing Professor.  A real case to be faced in teams, coordinated by Prof. Alberto Calugi, Strategic Marketing consultant. Four weeks of work, during which the Master’s participants came into direct contact with the company, its strategies and related needs, working in all respects as if they were part of the workforce.

The company, 100% Italian family-owned with headquarters in Parma and delocalized production lines in Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Croatia, Albania and Italy, was founded in 1974 by the Rizzoli family, which had already been in the industry since 1892. Alessandro Farneti, DeliciusExport Sales Director for almost seven years, gave students an extensive introduction to the company’s history, describing its supply chain, quality and sustainability certifications, brand positioning, and marketing and sales strategies.

He then went on to expose the challenge for Bologna Business School students: Delicius has been present in Japan for more than 20 years almost exclusively in the restaurant channel. This is an exception to the company’s normal strategy of being a purely retail brand. In its time, it had been easier to penetrate the Japanese market through the thousands of Italian restaurants, especially in the Tokyo area. This is an important section of business, considering that it generates sales of around 1.6 million euros per year.

Delicius’ question to the students, then, was: how to penetrate this market by breaking out of the restaurant business and entering, as is the classical strategy, into large-scale retail?

Alessandro Farneti proposed a series of points to work on to achieve the goal. First, try to evaluate the canned fish and anchovy category in the target market, and study the retail and competitive scenario. Create a profit illustrator simulation to define the ex-factory price and consumer positioning price. Still, analyze existing accounts and key accounts that will be activated, to draft a three-year business plan with an investment description to be submitted to the board of directors for approval.

Japan is a priority for Delicius in Asia. For the company, it is necessary to expand market leadership by entering the Grocery Retail channel: finding and proposing supermarkets and hypermarkets, and marketless online, a reality to be discovered. It will be necessary to gather information and rationalize it to give a useful perspective, to profile possible partners: to outline a ranking of supermarket chains or groups of supermarket chains (turnover-sales-market share-financial indices-number of outlets-size-location-etc.).

In the end, analyze the Japanese market with the aim of going beyond the presence in Tokyo prefecture alone, draft a statistical report that gives a measure of the category through the study of brands, products, packaging, of certifications, claims, and prices (regular/promotional/per kg).

A real challenge for the BBS University Master students in Business Management, track Asian Markets, who will be engaged for almost a month in a work of information search and elaboration useful to the real case to be faced. A unique opportunity to meet the business world, supported by executives and professors in a path of personal growth and networking that is essential for their future.

The BBS Business Management Professional Master combines face-to-face lectures, Project Work and MGIncontri, and extra-lesson meetings with business executives telling their stories or former students presenting their start-ups. And it concludes with an individual cross-curricular Project Work: simulating the creation of a start-up, presenting a mission, vision, projects and a real Business Plan.

A global pathway, offered by Bologna Business School, that combines learning and experience. A skills incubator to enter the business world (placement index above 90% six months after completion of the Master’s degree).


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